Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shots Down The Middle

Just makes such a difference I think, if the shot from the blue comes from an angle, from near the boards, it's not that big of a deal. But if a shot from the blueline comes form nearly straight on, the puck whipping in between the faceoff circles on the way to the net ... all sorts of bad things are more likely to happen (or good things, depends who you're cheering for ;) ). There is way more mesh to hit if the goalie doesn't see it or if it is deflected. Even a wide shot can bounce back into the scoring area.

Pronger was great at this on the PP last season, granted it didn't hurt having Hemsky on the left halfboards. And IMO they could have executed that even better if they could have gotten the opposition to believe they really were going to try a quick low play every now and again.

I mean every effer defended the triangle (net and faceoff dots at the corners) when we were all growing up, at every level of hockey. But smart guys adapt, the earth moves a bit when goals start coming from other places because you're too predictable.

After Anaheim was ousted from the playoffs Carlyle was asked about the Duck's powerplay troubles . He said that they tried for the extra pass too much instead of shooting, and that they wasted shots from outside because they couldn't get the puck into the middle. Of course that's completely contradictory, but he's on the west coast and a bunch of journalists have already written stories, many of which don't make a lick of sense, and surely one of those two snippets (but not possibly both) fit in well as a quote in their story. Bless 'em.

Don Cherry grabbed onto one of these (can't remember which) and beat it to death. He probably called him Carlyleee or Rand when blathering on one of his "just like I said!" bullshit tirades as well. But I digress.

Roloson pegged it though. "We did a good job of taking away the shots down the middle on the PK".

Last night on TV you could see MacTavish's plan with 30 seconds or so left in OT, he was holding up a little whiteboard for the world to see, including the guys in the Habs real-time video booth. He had three forwards out and Sykora was meant to get the puck, stride to dead centre on the blue line and fire. Presumably Smyth and would be in front by then too. The plan didn't work, but shit happens, can't fault him for betting on sevens.

And tonight we'll see the king of the "shot down the middle", Nik Lidstrom. Every bugger knows he's going to do it and he stills gets it done most of the time. Tremendous player.

As an side: This thread can be a sign up list for scoring chances by centres on the ice. Really good stuff from the guys who contributed last time, we're well on our way to doing something really above and beyond here. I mean we don't have the time or data or resources to do it like the teams do, but we can throw the darts nearer the middle by being more coldhearted about it.

If nothing else having a kick at it for even a period or two throughout the year will change the way you see things without trying. Even when you are listening on radio you'll notice that Horcoff subbed in for Stoll on the defensive zone draw that lead to Lupul's chance, and that the rookie sat and Stoll bumped to the wing. Or that the scoring chance that PDO has nicked against Stoll later on was right ... but more fairly it was really Horcoff line's fault, just a late change on the fly. All of us are wrong about plenty, and we all carry bias, but we can make each other smarter too.

Having said that, there's something to be said for believing in the magic. The clutchness, the entertainment, the niftiness, for riding the wave of the ones that go in off the post (what a player!) and the ones that just miss (useless!). Hell, this past weekend I bought a remote switch and had my four year old convinced that she could turn lights off and on by focussing, blowing on her fingers, and throwing her hand at the lamp while yelling A-la-kazaam! You should have seen the look on her face, it was priceless. Just because there is no magic, doesn't mean it's not nice to think that there is. So think about it before you do it. It's as simple as beans, but once you have a go the coaches are going to start seeming one helluva lot smarter and your local journalists and the guys calling into local radio shows ... less so. And you can't undo it. Seriously. It's inevitable.

Back to point: This should be a good one, I expect Sykora/Hemsky to be reigned back in big time. Too much talent on the Wings to fuck around. Shouldn't be tough for the coaching staff to respect the Wings, the players know, they know how badly they were outplayed last spring and probably suspect that the hockey gods are out to even the score. The bookies aren't giving the Oilers a hope in hell, but I think we'll see a good game. Special teams decide it. That's my hunch.

So, anyone interested in the scoring chance gig? Even for just a period or so.


Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I'll do it - or try to do it. TSN tonight so I can actually watch a game for a change - so I'm going to be checking scoring chances for and against - marking down who the respective centres are - am I understanding correctly?

My wife has been and will be working the rest of the week (except tonight) so this might take some convincing.

11/08/2006 2:00 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Ah dang, I'd love to do it but unfortunately I'll be at a bar tonight so me sitting there with a pen and paper might be a bit much. In any case I'll still be watching but sign me up for Friday's game to do this.

11/08/2006 2:19 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I'll do it, but I don't exactly know what you are asking, Vic. Please splain, and me do.

11/08/2006 3:25 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Vic's right about how you'll never read the dailies the same way again. It used to be the first thing I'd surf to but now I check the blogs first to see what the guys here or MC have come up with. Matheson had a piece the other day that had me shitting my pants of the points was how the PP wasn't working because the Oilers didn't have a PP QB. I mean how many PP QB's can put up better PPP/HR than 16 or 71? Maybe I'm wrong on this but it seems like Matheson was out to lunch on that one. He made another point that slayed me too.

Anyway I've looked at things differently since I started counting SC's. I don't do it every game but I'll just keep it in mind. For instance I thought the Oil had more SC's than both the Preds and Stars last week but Roli just wasn't doing the job. That's the same thing as last spring when the Wings outchanced the Oil but lost because Roli was excellent.

11/08/2006 3:52 pm  
Blogger Oiler_Kiwi said...

The game is on here on NASN in the UK and I'm a novice compared to the guys that post here regularly but I'm willing to give it a go. Dennis, apologies for not keeping in touch, but will send you an email soon.

11/08/2006 4:07 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

ok vic,

i'll play. got a sick wife and parental duties, but i'll do my best to track the second period.

if time allows, I'll start up a google spreadsheet where the contributors can put their recordings in. That would allow us to do some levelling on the counts.

11/08/2006 4:43 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

16 & 71 don't really dicatate the PP though, Dennis. They're shooters. I'm not saying I agree with Matheson, because I think our problem on the PP is tactical, but neither of those guys really control the flow on a PP in the same way that other players do. Zubov comes to mind.

11/08/2006 4:47 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Midterm tomorrow, and it's a Wings game.. so I'm out for counting anything tonight. Interesting that Horcoff was on for that chance I had on Stoll, I really had no idea. Add in my bias' with both Horcoff and Stoll though, and the fact I'm going to fuck up.. it's not too surprising.

I've been counting SC's for a while now. I put more into it than anything else (including time of possesion.. while it helps, it can just as easily be a whole lot of nothing, ex, Laraque), though I usually end up losing track at some point due to beer or just saying fuck it. I usually have a rough idea though.

Anyway, if anyone wants some advice on taking the notes, all I did was set up 2 columns, one with chances for, one with chances against. After every chance I'd list the Oiler center first, then the Opponents number.

BTW, I took the Oilers on my pro-line (10 spot), held off on betting the Over (6.5, was paying 1.8 odds) and picked up the Rags and the Over in Florida and Pittsburgh and the Over in Pittsburgh.. pays $279.

BTW - am I the only person who was absolutey livid when they heard Stoll was shooting? He sucked in 04-05 for the Runners, sucked last year.. what the fuck? Doesn't even take into accuont that Smyth was pretty damn good in the shootout last year (shot about 50%, but as also 2/2 on penalty shots.. or 3/3? My memories fading now, I know he had one on Vokoun and one vs. St. Louis, was there a third there?) AND had been our best player in the game. Just not a lick of sense there. Lupul seems like a guy who you'd intuitively use before Stoll too.




11/08/2006 5:02 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Ok, I've got the first period at least.

11/08/2006 5:37 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

No one has explained to me what I'm supposed to dooooooo!!!!

11/08/2006 5:48 pm  
Blogger PDO said...


Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and just mark down a scoring chance and which two centers are on the ice. My above method seemed tow ork pretty well for keeping track of everything.

We're kind of iffy on what we consider a scoring chance, but anything that results in a goal, a post or just a shot that is likely to go in about 1 in 4 times. No one's going to be perfect with handing them out by the same criteria, but it should be roughly accurate.

Make enough sense? Pick a period and have at 'er!


11/08/2006 5:53 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

And Grabia?

Try not to stir up a shitstorm this time, huh?

11/08/2006 5:57 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

If you skim through the comments to the post below it should be clearer. We're trying to do a group effort thing counting the scoring chances. And going by which lines were on the ice (if we catch it). Just use your own criterion for a scoring chance, we're all bound to be a bit different. It's a bit like work, so we're sharing the pain, a period or so is enough for anybody I think. I'll take the third period in this one.

Not that it really matters, I think you were right with Stoll being the guy on the ice, just that Horcoff's line had just stepped off with the Habs in possession, so it didn't seem fair. You're probably right though, stuff like that all comes out in the wash eventually. Best to keep it simple.

11/08/2006 6:01 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

But BDHS..

Shitstorms are so fun :D


11/08/2006 6:01 pm  
Blogger PDO said...


That makes enough sense. Admittingly I don't catch a lot of head-to-head matchups as they're happening, they're more something that I catch onto subliminally and just kind of notice as the game goes on without really realizing it. I found as I was tracking the chances I'd just look really quickly at who was on the ice at that exact moment, which, admittingly, seems pretty unfair given chances like that one.

I also realized last night that I'm really bad at noticing when a line change happens when I'm not at the game. I'll just blame that on TV camera angles though.


11/08/2006 6:05 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Ill do the second.

11/08/2006 6:13 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Do I monitor time of SC?

11/08/2006 6:19 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

There'll be no chance counting here, too many rugrats bouncing around the living room. But I will say, you guys have completely changed the way I watch the game. For this, I am thankfull...


11/08/2006 6:22 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

I wish there was mute button just for pierre

11/08/2006 6:23 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

And are we talking just EV SC?

sorry for all the questions!

11/08/2006 6:26 pm  
Anonymous The Rage said...

Anybody have any idea why Reasoner and Tarnqvist aren't playing? Is it because we have too many great defensemen and fourth liners?

11/08/2006 6:29 pm  
Anonymous The Rage said...

Reasoner supposedly has a minor injury. Still, why hasn't Tarnqvist been playing?

11/08/2006 6:37 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

This game is INTENSE.

11/08/2006 6:41 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

is staios done for the game?

11/08/2006 6:49 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

no 2, 5 and 10, same as Souray last night. weird new instigator rule.

13-0 in shots? man.

11/08/2006 6:51 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

They called Shaggy a healthy scratch but I read he has a hip problem today.

Intense but the Oilers are really kind of a big bag of suck.

Nice PP though.

11/08/2006 6:52 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Nice PP though.

Are you intentionally taunting me?

11/08/2006 6:54 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Ok, so first period - pretty easy. I have four chances, all for the Wings.

Samuelsson wraparound 71/40
Cleary side of net 33(?)/20
Samuelsson slot 10/40
Samuellson edge of crease 10/40

last two were the same shift and Horc was in place of Sykora for the dzone draw

16 vs 13 most of the period and Datsyuk did nothing. Interesting.

Oilers generated nothing except Hemsky cutting in on Lidstrom.

That's all folks.

11/08/2006 6:57 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Every chance I get Andy.

11/08/2006 6:57 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Couple things..

1) Am I the only person that laughed when Pierre tried to explain Detroit's PP by the absence of Yzerman last year? The same Yzerman who played 2:24 a game on the PP and was 12th on the team in that reguard?

2) We out hit them.

3) Roloson is having one of those games...

4) It's painfully obvious that nobody on this team has any offensive confidence right now. They need a couple lucky ones, and in a big way.

5) Some of you older posters may hate the Habs.. I guarantee it's not half as much as I hate the Wings. I'm 18 and there's not a team in the world I'd rather see implode. Bastards. All of them. For every 5 penalties they take they actually go to the box once. HATE THEM.


11/08/2006 6:59 pm  
Blogger PDO said...


You don't consider Hemsky being poke checked by Hasek a chance?


11/08/2006 7:01 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

How does the TSN panel know that Staios was going after Markov because of the Moreau/Stoll stuff? Just because Miller and Maguire said it was the case, doesn't make it so. I didn't see what happened before the fight happened, so I can't say one way or another. But that's the point: I can't say one way or another.

11/08/2006 7:04 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

How do people differentiate between a SC and a Shot? I know what I think, but I'd be interested to hear what others think.

11/08/2006 7:06 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

this is hard to watch

11/08/2006 7:22 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

countdown to the blender?

11/08/2006 7:23 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

any second now.

11/08/2006 7:25 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

there it is! 83 with 10 and 14!

11/08/2006 7:26 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

I hope the redwing coaches tell mcguire to shut the fuck up

11/08/2006 7:28 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

oooh! I just saw a blur, was that clean?

11/08/2006 7:32 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

HOLY FUCK WHAT A HIT!!! Was that clean? It happened so fast!

11/08/2006 7:32 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Agaib with the guy following the puck with his eyes. But that close to the net, you can't blame him. Wow.

11/08/2006 7:35 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Raffi looks like he is going to cry.

11/08/2006 7:39 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

No shit, can someone pat him on the head and tell him well done. Williams knows what he signed up for, keep your head up.

11/08/2006 7:43 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

It was clean.

PDO, I was iffy on the Hemsky chance. Could go either way on it. I thought yes but he never got into a decent position to shoot nor did he even get a shot off.

Man, they looked tired and discouraged until the 4th line had that great shift.

And Smith laid a nice hit on Datsyuk.

Still have a chance at this one - thanks to Roli.

11/08/2006 7:44 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Winchester again.

How long until he gets moved up in the pecking order? Now another shot.

Kid is getting some confidence.

11/08/2006 7:45 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

Hejda has looked very good that last few games, imo. I hope the fact that he sat in the PB for 2 weeks was b/c they are showcasing the little one for a trip out of town....

11/08/2006 7:46 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Andy - how do you differentiate between a SC and a shot?

Part of the exercise.

My wife thinks I'm a loser, btw, Vic.

We're going to pick a nationally televised game and do this again and compare - it would be interesting.

11/08/2006 7:47 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

I don't see how that's a penalty on Stoll.

11/08/2006 7:55 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

Saved by the bell...

11/08/2006 7:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you counting the Torres hit as a SC? It has to register somehow...

11/08/2006 8:02 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Here is what I have:

Oilers SC
Shooter/Ed #/Det #

Detroit SC
Shooter/Ed #/Det #
18/16/26** Cleary goal
29/10/29 –then BOOOOMMMMMM

Obviously, I have lax standards on scoring chances. It was hard to find the centres tonight, because both teams are blendering. Detroit rolls out about 8 centres. It was pretty obvious that the Peterson/Winchester/Thoresen line dominated the Rex Hudler line.

Raffi wasn't on the ice again after that hit. And I just think we discovered his weakness as a player. He has to play angry, but his concience destroys him if he hurts someone. I feel awful for the guy.

11/08/2006 8:07 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Sorry, that's my 2nd period.

11/08/2006 8:09 pm  
Blogger PDO said...


1) We played like ass. No denying it. Wasted a great effort by Rolo.

2) I hate how Detroit gets every mother-****ing call. Winchester gets run 3 seconds after touching the puck and no call? Unbelievable.


11/08/2006 8:42 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Oilers SC
Shooter/Ed #/Det #
20/20/13 wide open net that Peterson missed

Detroit SC
Shooter/Ed #/Det #
40/20/40** shorthanded goal (with Peterson/Winchester/Smyth on the ice! WTF!)
26/10/26** pp goal

That is my 3rd period. Awful, awful game. And I agree about Detroit getting calls. Chelios alone gets 3-4 freebies a game, despite playing an antiquated game.

11/08/2006 9:00 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Are you counting the Torres hit as a SC? It has to register somehow...

I just got home from work and am now going to look for this hit. It better live up to the hype.

11/08/2006 9:06 pm  
Blogger PDO said...


It will. Promise. There were about 5 or 6 monster hits this game, including one by (surprise, a Detroit player coming up...!) Lebda on Winchester a good 3 seconds after he last touched the puck.


You're officially allowed to bitch about the PP ;).


11/08/2006 9:08 pm  
Blogger She said...

MAB had no ice time after six mins. or so into the 2nd period.

Why? What did I miss?

I'll assume Torres was kept off the ice somewhat after that hit. Sporadic shifts tapering off late in the third.

Also- Hemsky... benched early in the 3rd? No Sykora, either, in the later stages.

Doghouse is mighty full.

Wish the hen party I was going to hadn't been cancelled.

11/08/2006 9:14 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

Well, until the pp crew pooped its pants and gave up the shortie, the 1-0 lead for the Wings flattered our boys. I can understand the travel was tough but that 1st was horrendous. Sadly they didn't awaken at all until the Wings had scored.

Okay, the PP setup needs a TON of work. It was really, really momentum stealing. Every pass seems to be just half-a step in the wrong direction.

Apparently i should have signed up to count the 1st period chances for the Oilers. 1 by my count. On 0 shots on net (Hemsky poke checked).

Well, this is a really difficult game to judge. Until the shortie, i had to be happy because they had a chance to get back into it and were swinging the momentum their way. THAT HIT. Apparently Raffi must have saved all his hits for the past 14 games and channelled it all into that single contact.

Did Williams get the cut from the landing on the ice?

Winchester did lay a fairly large number of hits before taking that one late in the game from Lebda. Winchester was probably one of our best forwards.

11/08/2006 9:38 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I "loved" how with the Oilers down by just a goal MacT picks that time to try out 5 and thus shelve one of 71/16..can't remember which one but I do know that both guys have been good on the PP. But I guess Smid's gonna be way better!!!

And of course the Oilers give up their first shortie of the season but it's not with five forwards on the ice.

That killed me;)

Also...I love what 26's been doing but I couldn't believe that all of 28-10-26 were out on the PP with the Oil down 2-0. Those guys are mail sorters...not mail carriers. I think this was the "it's everyone but Simpson's fault" approach.

Heading into this one I said the Oilers were finding new ways to lose and they certainly didn't let me down. Roli's back to playing great and the Oilers aren't giving him a chance for anything but an L.

11/08/2006 9:49 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Before I sweat Erik. Drop me a line when you get a chance. Maybe we can do a half season thing or something.

In any case...I hope all's well.

11/08/2006 10:52 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya Dennis, I agree with all of that. The all rookie PK alignment when they were down 2-0 was a head scratcher too, though I guess with 24 in the box and shaggy a 'healthy? scratch' there isn't much left.

In fairness to the 4th line on the PP though, they did create a couple of chances, that Thoresen hack from a sharp angle caught Hasek by surprise, hit his helmet I think. And Petersen should have had a gift goal but misfired.

As much as they were dominated in the first and early second though ... Roloson kept them in it with the help of a few lucky bounces too, and they were really owning the third period at 5on5. I thought Winchester had the bank there. A shame about the PP suckage and the shorthanded goal. That shortie was a bit of a crazy bounce off of the forward back (Stoll?) but it's tough to bitch, the Wings were way overdue for a bounce like that with the way they controlled the early part of the game.

I had the ES scoring chances at 4-1 for the Oilers in the third at the time Horcoff took the tripping penalty. And that line was really pressuring at the time too. The Oilers still had a chance even after that I thought, especially considering they've scored 3 goals with their net empty this year already, but when Staios took the Moreau-style dumbass penalty late ... twas over then. Detroit created a lot of decent chances on those late PPs too.

Sykora was terrible all night. I don't know whether he's hurt, sick, or it was just one of those nights. And I know that Hemsky isn't chickenshit, but he sure looked it tonight. Granted it's not easy to look good against Zetterberg.

Searching for positives: The 4th line, especially Winchester, played really well. Really fought for the puck and had a sense of purpose once they got it. And I thought Hejda looked great. Seems to be getting more confident now, he was right up in the crease on Winny's 5 bell chance. And kept the play alive along the wall a couple of times as well. It would have been nice to see him get the fluke goal off that deflected shot of his that dropped behind the Wing's net. Still, a couple of bullseyes and no damage to the drywall ... a good game of darts from Jan ;)

By the by, 3rd period EV scoring chances:
Lupul - 3on2 with 71/94 I think, after the PK.
Winny - vs Franzen line. A good chance on the deflection and then again on the whacks in front, especially the attempted bank shot ... seeing the replay he got the puck up and it had a real chance to go in off of Lebda's ass.
Lupul (with 94/71) - vs Z. Sharp angle shot with Smyth in front. He had room there too.
Smyth (with 15/71) - vs Z. Deflection in front, nobody knew where the puck was.
Lang - vs 15/71. On the counter of the play above, Smyth switched off but these two got stuck out there and Lang made a nice little move to take it to the middle.
On top of that the Horcoff line was spedning it's time in the offensive zone too.

Only two scoring chances on the PP from the Oilers by my count. And that from the 4th liners. Just pathetic. DET with the SH scoring chance and more PP scoring chances than I was willing to count. :(

I hate Detroit. Bonus points to Winchester for ragdolling that little Hudler guy, who looks like a prepubescent Leo DiCaprio btw. Reason enough to hate him before the announcer called him a "magician".

Favourite line of the night: "Now Schneider wants a piece of Raffi Torres!!!". Ya, suuurrrrre he does. You can't make this shit up. :D

11/08/2006 11:20 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I hadn't noticed that, just checked and it looks like he got nailed by Draper in the corner. It was a clean hit and Bergeron knew it was coming. Might have caught his shoulder wrong though. Damn, that's not good news at all, hopefully it's not too serious.

11/08/2006 11:28 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Pat/Andy: good stuff guys. And you're right Andy, that was Hudler out there against the peterson line. Even though he was pretty much invisible in his own zone. I saw Cleary and Maltby out there and just assumed that franzen was with them. My bad.

Nice to see Roli back to playing well. They'll have a chance every game if he gets on a roll. And interesting that DET went for a shit in terms of scoring chances after the big Torres hit (PPs aside) and the Oilers the opposite.

11/08/2006 11:43 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

One more thing, I don't watch TSN unless the Oilers are playing, but what the hell was the deal with McGuire in that little space between the benches? Jesus, it looked like he was in quarantine, or maybe in a kennel. When I saw him there I hoped that they'd just be cutting to him on occasion, but he was chatting away nonstop. Strange, strange stuff.

11/08/2006 11:47 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

So by the centres at even strength, if I've followed Adny's stuff right and picked which ones were not PPs.

71 +3 / -2
20 +4 / -2
16 +1 / -1
10 +3 / -4

Which is flattering I think because the first period was a nightmare and Pat is a much tougher marker than me or Andy here. So the Oilers centres are all missing some minuses, especially Sykora on this night.

Still, we're heading towards the scoring chance plus and minus thing that so many coaches obsess on. And which is what the Oilers use to judge their prospects, and presumably their big club players too. We'll need to standardize this a bit though, probably break it into "regular" and "primo" scoring chances, double the value for the latter, or some such.

Pretty clearly the Oilers 4th line did the best. Granted they weren't playing much against quality, but they can only play the icetime that they're given, and they delivered on this night. The last time I remember the Oilers playing the Wings the night after a game in MTL was years ago, Weight and Guerin were still Oilers and they got into Motown really late in that one too IIRC.

Everyone expected the Oilers to get demolished, but the played really well and won the game, granted the Wings weren't jacked to play them back then like they were last night.

Scotty Bowman's summation of the game was pretty simple: "They're best players were better than our best players".

Last night the Oilers 4th liners were they're best players. And Lidstrom and Zetterberg were the Wings' best players. Hmmm.

11/09/2006 12:20 am  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I think shots/good scoring chances/excellent scoring chances should be the standard. That was a ton of fun for me. It really helped me see the opposition standard you guys always talk about. I usually look at the D on scoring chances, but it was cool to see how important the forwards are to things. Plus, I got to watch "the magic man" Jiri Hudler get absolutely exposed on the defensive end. No wonder Babcock wants to use him as a PP specialist.

11/09/2006 12:28 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I have returned.

That was a neat exercise.

And I was watching for when the play died as well.

The one thing about the 4th liners on the PP - they gained the zone three times and easily and retrieved the puck each time. They kept it simple and used the advantage - meaning - they outnumbered the Wings in the zone and got the puck. If Peterson scores they might even sneak a point out of the mess.

Overall a pretty poor game although I liked Hejda and Greene as well.

that's the first time I've seen McGuire there as well - I liked the fact that he could give the feelings at icelevel and on the benches but Christ he isjust too much. I wnated to mute him after the first period.

Shut Up Pierre! Just for ten second.

11/09/2006 9:40 am  
Blogger Doogie said...

If only the other three lines could play like the fourth, which has accounted for exactly half of the Oil's goals the last two games. This could possibly the first time I've ever said those words in my life, and it profoundly sorrows me. Great, we have a fourth line that doesn't suck. Too bad about seven of the other nine are playing like ass, for the most part.

11/09/2006 9:53 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Well, doogie, the fourth line looked good but they were playing against the other team's fourth line. And they didn't have Franzen back there between Maltby and Cleary like they did last spring, the Wings are a bit thinner up front now. Having said that, Hudler would have been in the press box if this was a playoff game, he's getting his 'at bats' now.

If this were a home game then Sykora/Hemsky barely get a look at Zetterberg, and get an unfair share of the primo minutes against Hudler. Plus the routine "shift after an Oilers PK" for them, when you're usually out against solid NHLers, but not guys who are likely to score against you if you give up chances. And there probably would have been a concensus that the Sykora line was the Oiler's best. Seriously. Context matters.

You usually win or lose with your best players. Hemsky needs to get better. Horcoff and Pisani too, but they've been playing against quality a lot and are starting to get the better of the chances I think. And Horcoff is being routinely subbed in for defensive zone draws against th other teams best ... not easy to look good playing that gig.

11/09/2006 10:15 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

One more thing: The D matchups are not something I usually notice when I'm watching a game, but according to the sidebar thing Winchester only played one minute of EV icetime against Lidstrom, in spite of big #5 playing a shitload of icetime again. The Sykora (6.7 minutes) and Horcoff (6.0) lines saw Lidstrom the most ... against the Z and Lang lines respectively, for the most part anyways. That's a tough row to hoe.

11/09/2006 10:23 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Sure is Vic.

Its what you make of with what you are dealing with. Winchester is proving to be successful in his role - his line is carrying the play against their counterparts and when they get caught out against the big boys they are doing ok.

And that's an improvement from last year where guys were getting nailed to the bench because they couldn't get the job done.

11/09/2006 11:24 am  
Anonymous slipperyinside said...

And to think, Roger used to have his staff jotting this stuff down from behind the bench. I feel for his boys who had to track the TOI and match-ups in game; it just seems like madness to try to track that stuff on the fly.

I'm not certain if it's heightened physical play, or a lack of faith in the backend, but the Oilers' top forward units look tenative and on their heels. The forwards without the puck seem unable to find or create open space and the puck handlers seem frazzled and unwilling to make the play to find the spots that would translate to a quality scoring chance. It was a frustrating game to watch as a fan of the team.

11/09/2006 11:51 am  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

The shift chart from last night is insane. Large stretches of white for lots of guys. It's pretty clear Hemsky AND Sykora were benched in the 3rd. Just a gross, gross night. It reminded me of that massacre against Colorado last year. Thank God the game wasn't here. They might not have made it out alive.

And Maguire is down on the ice like that alot. He started it with NBC last year, and carried it over this year to TSN. I like it, but then again, I like Maguire. Blustery, sure, but he's an X and O's guy, and I like to hear that stuff. It's like getting a cross between Howie Meeker, Roger Nielson, and Jim Ross.

11/09/2006 3:51 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I used to like Maguire a lot and I like him still in small doses but he's just non stop.

It gets to be too much.

11/09/2006 4:20 pm  

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